This is Jon.

He helped with the construction of the Zequentic School in Chiapas.
He also happens to be the President of Escalera.

What we do

We envision a world where everyone has access to a quality education, is aware of this opportunity, and has the resources to take advantage of it. Our work is grounded in the knowledge that an education gives people choices and leads the way to a better and healthier life. Educated moms and dads raise educated sons and daughters. It’s a cycle. The world still has problems, but billions of former students are tackling them.

Our Board

Bryson Garbett
Founder, Executive Committee, Board Treasurer

Bryson is an alumnus of Harvard Business School, OPM 27, Executive Education, and is president and founder of Garbett Homes, which has built more than 3,500 homes and apartments in 25 communities in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Missouri, and Mexico over the past 30 years. As the principal founder and trustee of Escalera, Bryson has over twelve years of development experience in Mexico. Bryson sits on several boards, including Habitat for Humanity and is a former member of the Utah House of Representatives. He pioneered building affordable green homes in Utah, received a Green Business award in 2010.

Jan VanDenBerghe Garbett
Founder, Development Committee Chair

Jan leads several organizations for children and women that have both local and international reach. As founder and director of EPIK, she works to use collective impact to empower a deliberate digital generation of children. With Families United Toward Universal Respect (F.U.T.U.R.E.), she organized training for Iraqi women in Utah; Washington D.C.; and Sulaimaniya, Iraq to promote the cause of women and families in the war recovery efforts.

Jon Nieporte
Board President, Executive Committee Chair, Strategic Planning

Jon has over ten years of experience in general contracting and construction administration of large scale building projects in the US, UK and Mexico. He has expertise in efficient scheduling and production methods, organizing and executing projects and teams, and resolving emergent issues in order to execute plans. As Escalera’s Board President, Jon oversees governance and works closely with the Executive Director on questions of mission and strategy. He has worked closely with the Chiapas government on its major school-building campaign that used Escalera’s prefabricated classroom innovation.

Robin Bastar
Audit & Finance Committee

Robin has practiced as a CPA for over 35 years, with his practice focusing on tax consulting; return preparation; small businesses in real estate and related industries; personal service businesses, hospitality and manufacturing.

Robin has been involved with Escalera from its inception and continues to be an active board member. In addition to his involvement with Escalera, he is a member of the Sugar House Community Council and is active in local nonprofit organizations.

Mark Siddoway
Audit & Finance Committe

Mark Siddoway is a Financial Analyst with over 27 years of experience in investment management. He serves as the Head of Client Services at Grandeur Peak Global Advisors where he supports the global equities firm’s investor relations. He holds a MBA and a BA from Brigham Young University and is a CFA and CAIA. As a long-term Escalera supporter, Mark now lends his financial expertise to the Board to ensure the organization’s long-term fiscal health.

David Garbett
Development Committee, Strategic Planning Committee

David is Staff Counsel for the Southern Utah Wilderness Association, an organization dedicated to conserving the canyons of southern Utah. David oversaw the establishment of Escalera’s first scholarship program and has been volunteering for Escalera for over a decade. He holds a law degree from Harvard Law School and a Masters in Economics from Utah State University.

Geoffrey Palmer
Audit & Finance Committee, Strategic Planning Chair

Geoffrey currently works for Endeavor Real Estate Group, a leading commercial real estate developer in Central Texas. For over two years, he was a full-time volunteer in Mexico, serving in Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Mexico City. At Escalera, he is actively involved in fundraising efforts and the audit and strategic planning committees. Geoffrey graduated from Brigham Young University with a BS in Real Estate Finance, where he held various internship positions in New Zealand, Mexico, Texas, and Utah.

Fritz Froer
Audit & Finance Committe

Fritz is a longtime supporter of Escalera, Fritz currently works as General Manager for BMC. He joins Escalera after having participated in the 2017 school building expedition in Zequentic, Zinacantan where he discovered the life-changing power of education. Fritz holds a B.S. in Finance from Weber State University.

Bruce Gunther
Development Committee

Bruce is Vice President of Business Development for the Bank of American Fork. During his twelve years at the bank, Bruce started the private services department and continues to manage some of the bank’s most profitable clients. Bruce took a break from banking from 2011-2013 to manage four European offices for a multinational company in France, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. Mr. Gunther holds a Graduate degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Colorado and a BA in Business from the University of Houston.